suriya umpansiriratana: monk cell project
nov 23, 2010
suriya umpansiriratana: monk cell project

the ‘monk cell project’ by thai architect suriya umpansiriratana is a formal structure of
a monk’s cell articulating their daily routine supporting his practice of  buddhist teachings.
it is designed to create an atmosphere conducive to the monk’s practice of noble conduct.
the circular form allows for continuous walking meditation, but also functions as a symbol
of the 24-hour cycle of the practice schedule:

– the first period, from 04:00 to 12:00: after waking up, during chanting, meditation,
and the daily meal, a single wall to the east shields the monk from the morning sun.

– the second period, from 12:00 to 20:00: during the time for studying the buddha’s teachings,
the simple roof overhead shields the monk from the daytime sun.

– third period, from 20:00 to 04:00: chanting and meditation takes place in a space exposed
to the elements, and the monk then sleeps under the hanging mosquito net umbrella.

the daily routine is expressed naturally by the design of the building. the circular form allows for
precise directional siting of the building. the primary structural material is steel, and the color follows
that of the monk’s robes.

project info:

technical data
structure of the building : structure steel – frame, painted cement
board, plastered concrete
principal exterrior material : painted cement
board, plastered concrete principal interior
material : painted cement
board, plastered concrete

project team
chief architect suriya umpansiriratana, kyai nuichan advisors buddhism
– venerable p.yanasobhano
– venerable mahatong dhamavudho consultancy –
apichart puemsagul structural engineer -
tanya ongsiriporn project team
– anan yuenprakon – natapon nimlamai – pirak anurakyawachon
– panicha

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